Last week I found and interesting challenge while reading Barb Taub’s blog. She quotes Marshall McLuhan who once said that a good way to choose a book is to read page 69. If you like the page, buy the book. Barb asked readers to submit page 69 of their work or WIP. I decided to take a look.
The first thing I did was turn to page 69 of the document in Word. I started reading and was aghast. The page was just filled with the most awful drivel I’ve ever read. Uhg. I mentioned it to Barb in a comment. Not only did she encourage me to go ahead and post, but she gave me a quick way to find the approximate page in a bound book. I looked at the new page. It was pretty bad, but not quite as awful as the other page.
After submitting the page to her challenge I breezed through other sections of my book and found the same thing. The writing wasn’t as good as I would have liked. I think the story is strong. It flows from one scene to the next in a logical fashion. The ideas are there but the words let them down.
I finished writing “The Fireborn” at the end of last August. I let it sit for a while and did the second draft over the month of October. I sent that out to beta-readers, did a quick revision as I waited and then a complete third draft using the user feedback in December. In January of 2014 I did a quick read through and revision. To tell you the truth, I haven’t looked at it again since late January. That is, I haven’t looked at it until now.
When I started writing the book in early May of 2013 I had written very little in the previous few years. Since I finished the second draft at the end of last October, I’ve written about 50 short works of fiction. I’ve written more than just stories. Altogether I’ve written on the order of 200,000 words for my blog. I’m talking content, not comments. I’ve used every story and article I’ve posted as a learning experience. In other words, I’m a better writer today than I was a year ago. At least I hope that’s the case.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been throwing around ideas for NaNoWriMo. After looking at “The Fireborn” again I’ve decided to write a new draft of the book instead.
I may disappear for chunks of time over the next month. Don’t send out the Calvary if you don’t see any new posts. I’ll just be hidden away letting the words flow.